Mental health of business academics within the COVID-19 era: can meaningful work help? A qualitative study

Mohamed Mousa, Georges Samara

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

32 Citas (Scopus)


Purpose: Through addressing academics in four public business schools in Egypt, the authors of this paper aim to uncover how meaningful work might shape the mental health of the addressed academics post COVID-19. Design/methodology/approach: The author employed a qualitative research method through semi-structured interviews with 44 academics from four business schools selected from among 25 public institutions of higher education in Egypt. The author subsequently used thematic analysis to determine the main ideas in the transcripts. Findings: The authors’ findings show that business academics usually consider meaningful work as playing a major role in shaping their mental health, especially after a crisis. This indicates that the more they perceive their jobs as valuable and worthwhile, the more they can deal with limitations and mental health issues (e.g. anxiety, stress, inadequate sleep, etc.) that accompany crisis. The findings also show that during the time of the COVID-19 crisis, employees (business academics in this case) have not placed so much importance to their autonomy (ability to choose and/or participate in decision-making processes) in the workplace. Instead, they care more about their relatedness (sense of belongingness) and their level of competence (sense of capability). Accordingly, the authors show that having academics that develop a sense of purpose for their academic duties in a time of crisis has less mental health disorders. Subsequently, post crisis, business academics can feel a continuous sense of relatedness and find ongoing opportunities to work and learn. Originality/value: This paper contributes by filling a gap in HR management, in which empirical studies on the relationship between mental health and meaningful work have been limited so far.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)764-784
Número de páginas21
PublicaciónEmployee Relations
EstadoPublicada - 22 abr. 2022


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